A newly published book provides fresh details into previously reported animosity between first lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
According to the book “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future,” authored by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, Jill Biden did not want Harris on the ticket after she attacked her husband as being a racist during the Democratic primaries in 2019.
“There are millions of people in the United States. Why do we have to choose the one who attacked Joe,” Jill Biden said in a conversation after she discovered that Harris was in the lead for the job, Fox News .
However, there was support for her among some on Biden’s staff, including Ron Klain who is now the White House chief of staff, was in charge of the vetting for vice president and had Harris pegged for the job.
“Yes, Harris had attacked Biden more harshly than any other major candidate in the Democratic primaries. Yes, the Biden family had seen it as a smear and a betrayal. In Klain’s assessment, that would work to Biden’s advantage,” the book said.
“Choosing Harris will show people that you are magnanimous and forgiving, Klain told Biden. It will show the country just what a unifying leader you can be,” the tome continues.
The authors also wrote that the Bidens had reservations about selecting Harris as a running mate, in part because of her “past romantic relationship with Willie Brown, the former San Francisco mayor who had appointed Harris to a pair of minor political positions,” something he thought of “as the kind of thing that should be off-limits.”
Others who were considered were Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Karen Bass of California and Rep. Val Demmings of Florida — the latter a key battleground state — but Biden’s campaign saw them as “compromised or risky” selections.
“You know, white women are incredibly racist, as are white men,” one of Biden’s close advisors said, according to the book. “None of it was safe. It was a risky thing to do. But it was the safest of choices that we had.”
In addition, Biden’s director of communications, Kate Bedingfield, also questioned Harris’ competence, the authors claimed.
“In private, Bedingfield had taken to noting that the vice presidency was not the first time in Harris’s political career that she had fallen short of sky-high expectations: Her Senate office had been messy and her presidential campaign had been a fiasco. Perhaps, she suggested, the problem was not the vice president’s staff,” the book said.
Bedingfield denied the accusation to Politico.
“The fact that no one working on this book bothered to call to fact check this unattributed claim tells you what you need to know. Vice President Harris is a force in this administration and I have the utmost respect for the work she does every day to move the country forward,” she said.